How to deal with disrespectful in-laws without losing our sanity? Being treated unequally, unfairly, or with insensitivity, it binds us to have negative thoughts and we start feeling low because of other’s behavior.
But can we control other’s behavior, certainly not? The best or the worst thing about giving respect or getting respected is that you cannot just ask for it.
Staying with someone who does not even respect you and treats you inappropriately bothers one a lot. In this blog, we will discuss dealing with such unhealthy situations.
How to Deal with Disrespectful in-laws?
Love and the feelings of respect are mutually exclusive; they co-exist for any relationship to flourish and to bloom. Love and respect play a major role like water is to plant, respect is that foundation to any relationship. How can you survive toxicity in relationships with your in-laws, isn’t it? When you respect someone for how they are you add value to their existence. Now just imagine its reverse; you cannot be respectful to someone just because you don’t like them or you cannot adjust with them.
I had a friend who was a highly educated and senior analyst in a financial advisory group. She was someone of a high cadre, confident personality, and she portrayed an image of a respectable woman. On the contrary, it was not the same in her household surroundings, as soon as she entered her premises, she was just a daughter-in-law, who is judged and criticized over petty issues.
At any point in time, the prime concern is to maintain peace and happiness in the house. With this thought, I am sharing a few ways through which we can figure out how to deal with disrespectful in laws while staying with them, which also leaves you wondering if staying with in laws is a bad idea. We can follow these steps to stay in harmony with our minds and maintain a peaceful environment in our homes.
|1.Draw healthy boundaries|
|2. Avoid arguments|
|3. Don’t take things personally|
|4. Stop assuming|
|5. Don’t try to prove things|
|6. Expect less|
|8.Breathe in Breathe out|
|9. Believe in yourself|
Ten powerful hacks to Deal with Disrespectful in-laws
It is very easy to fall victim to such a situation and cry for things that you cannot change, but trust me it will only affect your inner state. You will find yourself loathing over something you can’t help. It is your in law’s perspective towards you which you cannot work upon, but what you can possibly work on is your own self, start with self and things might fall in place in the near future.
As a first step towards yourself, you can start with these below-mentioned ten powerful hacks if you are worried about how to deal with disrespectful in laws.
1) Draw healthy boundaries
One of the major challenges of marriage is staying with in laws and maintaining a healthy environment in the house. When there are a bunch of different people staying in a single house, it is bound to result in contradicting situations.
Maintain a healthy boundary, give space, and create your space right from the beginning. You cannot command respect but maintain a safe place for yourself so you are not treated disrespectfully.
2) Avoid arguments
It is a difficult situation when you see something wrong and you cannot even voice out for the same. But take a pause for a moment, think about its cause and effects and avoid arguments in the first place.
In most cases, reacting or retaliating over a situation within a spur of the moment only results in over-bearing arguments and endless feelings of disgust. Try to avoid an argumentative situation, and the best way to keep up with your dignity is to walk away from that place.
3) Don’t take things personally
It always happens, it happened with me. Whenever our mother-in-law shares her experiences of life, put some example stories of comparison, we take the words spoken by her personally and feel our mother in law might be jealous of us. We are not sure because there is a thin line between arrogance and acceptance here. Be present, listen, but let nothing which is unpleasant to enter your mind and trigger negativity.
We feel that she is attacking us through her words, trying to put us down, maybe she is, but we can just look it from another perspective and be present as a listener and just forget about it later. Taking things personally will only increase the gap of misunderstandings and feelings of hurt.
4) Stop assuming
In a relationship, even with in laws a void develops when we assume a lot. If my in-laws don’t enjoy eating the food I prepare, I will assume that I am not a good cook and afterward I will cook half-heartedly. I will not enjoy cooking anymore. We usually do that, we easily doubt our skills and abilities.
In this way, we hand over the key of our happiness in their hands; We allowed them to enter our minds and manipulate the entire thought process. Do not assume, do not also take things on face value. Continue to be the better you.
5) Don’t try to prove things
You lose your respect when you raise your voice to prove your point. Raise your ways instead of your voice. If your mother-in-law is degrading you for something and you are not liking it you try to make a point. You try to prove her wrong.
You already do not respect her for her behavior towards you and by raising your voice, you lose respect in front of your spouse and other members. Try to look out for another way and stay away from heated triggers which could turn into fights.IF you feel you are right you don’t have to prove it, allow things to settle down and let it take its own time to repair.
6) Expect less
We all talk a lot about expecting less and living more. I feel in a relationship with the in laws it is the golden rule. Acceptance is the basic need in any relationship, with acceptance comes to a sense of belongingness and with belongingness comes affection and respect towards the other person.
Expecting less will only save us from being overwhelmed with unwanted reactions and unpleasant situations. It is a long journey to travel. Just to gain momentary respect and love never for-go a vision of the long-term and fruitful relationship with your in-laws.
7) Step back
The best way to avoid any unpleasant situation is to step out of it. Withdraw and step back. It will not make you a loser or a weak person; Rather, it will help you think and then act. Not every action needs your immediate reaction, remember this. Especially when you are dealing with your mother in law you need to be cautious that you do not end up being the center of the mess created by her.
Most of the decisions taken in a fit of rage are the ones we regret later and unfortunately, we do not have an undo button in our life. Step back, shut it down for a while and come back when you can talk with more assertion and clarity. It will help both the members to mellow down.
8) Breathe in Breathe out
We need to do it more often. It is very easy to lose our minds over constant bickering and comparisons and complaints. It makes us feel worthless. But the dire need for love and respect could also lead to a stressed mind. We need to let to, we need to exhale all the built-up negative emotions inside us.
How to deal with disrespectful in laws? By letting them be the way they are yet not losing your sanity. Shifting our focus to other things always helps. Trust me on this. We need to breathe in all the positivity around our life and breathe out all the negativities in and around our life. Carrying negative emotions will only attract more negativity, and we will pass on the negativity to the other family members.
9) Believe in yourself
No matter how badly you are being treated or insulted, you can never stop believing in yourself. This is one thing; no one is allowed to forget. How to deal with disrespectful in-laws who are constantly biased towards you and criticizing you at your every step? By allowing yourself to take time for yourself and think about a positive approach.
The day when we stop believing in our own self, we cease to exist. We are not mere bodies, a soul resides within us. We can certainly not control the external factor around us, but we need to take charge of our inner self.
10) Nurture Yourself
Take time for the little things in your life. In this whole process of seeking approval, gaining respect, getting attention, and wanting to be loved, we forget to live. We please every member of the family. We whittle ourselves to meet every bodies’ need, in the end, what will we be left with?
I am not asking to stop trying, but not at your mental peace’s expense. Trust me it is not worth it. How will you manage your own extended family with an unhealthy mind and what strength you will pass on to your kids? Just think about this before you go into self-doubt and pressure yourself over things beyond your control.
Staying sane while dealing with disrespectful in laws
A sane mind can help you rebuild and repair yourself, so invest a little time in yourself.
In one of my blogs, titled, How to Deal with In Laws Living with you & Remain Stress-Free? I pointed out our few essential elements for a happy family. In the end, we all need a comfortable environment to breathe in, isn’t it? We all want a happy ending, but before a happy ending there is always a lot of struggle and ups and downs, remember? So consider these ups and downs as a phase and this too shall pass.
How to deal with disrespectful in-laws and how does one intend to deliver respect in return for such behavior, such types of questions will always bother us but we need to allow ourselves to exhale it out. The recipient is not always guilty, is not always wrong, even the giver is not aware of what she is doing here. But the whole family suffers, relations suffer and what it costs is the peace of the entire house. Just because of a little insensitive approach and who wants that.
In my marriage, I have seen good and bad, as everyone else does. I have lost my mind over petty issues which have cost my mental health and physical health badly. Over the period I did a deep evaluation and self-introspection, which led me to some amazing facts of life. But most importantly I have learned that we as a woman need to portray ourselves and perceive another woman a little differently now. It has been ages since we are fighting and crying over the same issues. We have evolved as human species and yet this mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship is running like some old cartel with high competition, high stakes, and yet very low productivity.
Living with disrespectful in-laws is not a choice one makes, choosing one is not possible at all. We live with what we got and while living we have to work on making it a little easy journey.
But if we have got this situation in our lives, we need to look at it as a phase in our life, which if not changed completely, can be altered by maintaining healthy boundaries, keeping fewer expectations, letting things go, investing time in self and last but not the least, taking care of ourselves in this whole process. Stay Sane, Stay Healthy.
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.